GPCA ‘11: Saudi prince says region ready to compete with US shale

14 December 2011 07:10  [Source: ICIS news]

DUBAI (ICIS)--Saudi Arabia and other petrochemical producers in the region are ready to compete with the US, a Saudi prince said on Wednesday, in response to a question on how the US feedstock advantage would affect producers in the Middle East.

“We are ready to compete with anybody,” said HRH Prince Faisal Bin Turki, Advisor, Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Saudi Arabia.

The US shale gas advantage was a recurring theme at the opening of the sixth annual GPCA (Gulf Petrochemicals & Chemicals Association) conference in Dubai on Wednesday.

The focus on the US stems from expectations that ethylene production in North America will increase significantly in the coming years as a result of anticipated growth in ethane production.

US ethane production is expected to grow by 33% over the next three years to 1.2m bbl/day, according to projections by the industry.

The US produced an average 900,000 bbl/day of ethane in 2011.

Meanwhile, US ethylene capacity is expected to increase by as much as 6.4m tonnes/year by 2018, an IHS consultant predicted during the conference in Dubai.

The 24% increase includes the construction of new crackers, as well as announced expansions at several units.

US ethylene capacity is now estimated at around 27m tonnes/year.

By: William Lemos
+1 713 525 2653

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